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Serpentyne – Interview with Maggiebeth Sand & ‘Angels of the Night’ Album Review
Jad | July 7, 2020
Serpentyne is an English Symphonic and Fold Metal band, fronted by multi-instrumentalist Maggiebeth Sand. The English band has released two studio albums to the date, the latest being, ‘Angels of the Night’ released in November 2019. The London band has recently released a music for the first track on the album, Away from the World.
‘Angels of the Night’ might look like just a music album, but it’s actually a portal that takes you into a different era. 11 songs extending over 48 minutes of time, fueled with orchestral beauties and a magical vocals. Here are three things we loved about ‘Angels of the Night’.
1. Symphonic Metal
Yes, that’s the genre of the album. But notice how ‘symphonic’ is italicized. The reason behind that is to emphasize at the album being magnificent in the symphonic elements aspect. The orchestral additions are brilliant and exciting, and the choir supporting Maggiebeth’s titanic vocals is simply magical. Songs like Away from the World, Lady Serpentyne, and Lady Macbeth are great examples of the rich music Serpentyne has managed to create.
2. The conceptual layer
Serpentyne added a thick layer of conceptuality into the music of ‘Angels of the Night’. We’re not saying the album is good because it has a concept. We’re saying the interaction between this concept and the music is very impressive. The way the songs interact together, the additional choir vocals on certain parts and the adaptation of speed and heaviness with the lyrics is the reason behind this greatness. Songs like Lady Macbeth, Bring on the Storm, and Aphrodite are great examples of how the storytelling and conceptual music was translated into lyrics and music.
3. Favourite song: ‘Aphrodite’
We picked Aphrodite as our favourite song on the album (by 2 to 1 in voting). Aphrodite begins with a fast and melodic riff that is joined with drums to shortly emerge with an orchestral melody accompanied with a wonderful choir answering to Maggiebeth’s magical vocals. Not that the song needed anymore majesty, but it has been given more by a good though short guitar solo. One of my favourite songs in a long time.
We recommend ‘Angels of the Night’ to all fans of Symphonic, Power, and Progressive Metal fans, especially those into Concept Metal and Metal Opera as they will be no doubt impressed with the worlds Serpentyne raised and razed in their album.
We talked with Maggiebeth about her music, her band’s album and many other things! Hope you enjoy this interview!
Hello Maggiebeth! How are you and the other members of Serpentyne?
We’re all OK thanks. How about you?
I’m very good, thanks! Would you like first to tell our readers who are reading about you for the first time a bit about your band? Who are the members and what is the dream you had when you created Serpentyne?
I’ve always been inspired by other symphonic metal bands such as Nightwish, Within Temptation and Delain. I began to work on forming the band a few years ago but, as is usually the case with any band, it took some time to find the right combination of musicians. I’m pleased to say that I’ve now done so, and this is the lineup: Lee Wilmer, guitar, Nigel Middleton, bass and lead male vocal, John Haithwaite, drums, and James O’Brian, keyboards. We also sometimes work with guest musicians: Vaughan Grandin (bagpipes) plays on our studio recordings and sometimes joins us on tour, and Anthar Kharana (drums and percussion) added his unique input to our last album.
You have released a new album late last year. How are you feeling about the reception ‘Angels of the Night’ has received so far?
Generally, it has been very well-received and of course, we’re very pleased about that. Our record company, Hell Fairy Records, has been fantastic and has done a great job in promoting it.
What is the difference between ‘Angels of the Night’ and your previous releases?
We could say that the previous album, “The Serpent’s Kiss” was symphonic with an element of metal. “Angels of the Night” is more metal with an element of symphonic. Some of the tracks, like “Bring on the Storm” and “Seven Signs,” have almost no symphonic content at all- they’re pure metal, and on others, like “Follow Me,” the symphonic content is there, but much more in the background than on any of the songs on “Serpent’s Kiss.”
In order to talk more about ‘Angels of the Night’ and get our readers more excited to check it out, let’s play a game. I’ll ask you to pick one song from your last album to do a certain job! Ready?
OK, go on! I’ll bring the rest of the band into the game!
That’s an awesome idea! Which song from ‘Angels of the Night’ would you use to explain to someone what Symphonic Metal means?
I think that would have to be “Angel of the Night.” It features a big orchestration with strings, brass and choirs and, in places, a more classical structure. The metal part of it comes in the form of the guitars, which are very driving and prominent, and the drumming.
“Lady Serpentyne”. Because of the big symphonic intro and strings and prominent vocals.
“Lady Macbeth”; lots of dynamics!
It has some really interesting parts which are a major part of Symphonic Metal
Which song from ‘Angels of the Night’ would you recommend to someone who hasn’t heard of your band before?
A good indication of where the band is going is “Away From The World.” This has a little bit of a folky element in it, like some of our earlier material, with the use of a variation on a traditional Irish tune, “The Ash Plant,” played on the bagpipes, though apart from that, the guitar, bass and drums are, again, pure metal.
“Angel of the Night” it’s a strong song and was the first single and has a great video to show it off.
Which song from ‘Angels of the Night’ would you use to make a sad friend feel better?
“Follow Me” is telling someone who is sad, surrounded by fears that it is; “ time to cut, break the ties, stop your fears and leave, time to come, cross the line, time to believe… Follow me! To the land beyond the dream,. Follow me! Where a new world lies unseen…
”Away from the World” (It’s positive and talks about escaping and being in a better place)
If all songs on ‘Angels of the Night’ became living humans, which one would you be best friends with?
It’s hard to predict how someone else will respond to a song… “Follow Me” has very uplifting lyrics about someone leading a partner or friend away from a damaging lifestyle… (there again, I also find the melodic part of “Away From The World” very inspiring). If they were people, I think that I’d like the person who said “Follow me… there’s no hill that we can’t climb.”
“Away from the World” Because of the positivity and freedom the lyrics portray.
“Boudicca” Because it’s a feisty and inspiring character, I can respect that in a friend, (maybe I could go out on a date with her!)
“Bring on the Storm” Because of the Hardy Viking stuff!
“Angel of the Night” It seems to be a song to stay up late with drinking JD 🙂
If your life is a Netflix series, which song on ‘Angels of the Night’ would be the theme song?
Oooh, that’s difficult! I have to come back to “Away From The World” with its theme of taking time out to escape from reality!
“Banshee” As the song makes me feel about connecting back to my roots – it’s a very powerful song.
“Banshee” would work well as a TV theme somewhere.
“Bring on the Storm” My stormy life!
“Banshee” (it reminds me of the sort of music that could be used as a theme tune for many genres TV; Battlestar Galactic for instance) or “Bring on the Storm” (arranged from the verse and given a slow intro – it would be an epic show about conquering adversity)
Thank you for playing Maggiebeth and guys!
My pleasure! Thanks for inviting me and the band!
I believe like most artists around the world you weren’t able to tour and perform on big stages during the lock-down due to COVID-19. What part of performing live do you miss most?
I probably speak for the rest of the band as well as myself when I say that having the ability to go onstage and connect with an audience, including people who have never heard us before, is the most satisfying experience. Unfortunately, our last tour in March when we were supporting Tarja in Portugal, Spain and France was cut short after the first week because of the virus, and I have to be honest and say that it was incredibly disappointing, though of course, we all accepted that it was the right thing to do.
That’s really sad, hope things go back to normal soon. You’ve recently released a music video for the song Angels of the Night. Do you have any other plans you’d like to tell us about?
Yes- we’ve started uploading some live videos from the last tour in March supporting Tarja- before it was cancelled. We’re also working on our next album, though it’s difficult, because of the lockdown. Zoom has been very useful during the past few weeks! We’re making progress though, and we plan to have it finished before the end of the year, as long as it’s safe for us all to get together in the studio again.
If you had the ability to travel in time, and return of course, which era would you like to visit and why?
Late-mediaeval to early-Elizabethan Europe, I think. It was a time of discovery and revolution- in both the arts and sciences. You could say that the foundation of our modern world was formed then.
Thank you for the interview Maggiebeth! It has been a pleasure. Good luck for you and Serpentyne in your future plans!
Thank you, and thanks again for this interview! Greetings from London to all your readers! 🙂